Deal Me In, Week 17 ~ “The Problem of Leon”


Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis

“The Problem of Leon” by John Shannon

Card picked: King of Diamonds

From: Murder on the Ropes, edited by Otto Penzler


Leon wasn’t stupid, but he was ineffably unpleasant and tiresome and permanently aggrieved…

Jack Liffey met Leon Krane when they were both in college. Jack would like to believe that there isn’t true evil in the world, that maybe with a little understanding everyone can be a better person. He tries to befriend Leon, but Leon is pretty insufferable. Leon, once a math major, goes on to be a mildly successful boxer, a real tough guy who expects the same from his children. The problem? His youngest son is missing and he wants Jack, now a PI, to help find him. Except, Leon has only become a worse person in the intervening years, attested to by his wife’s black eye. When Jack finds Leon’s youngest, how *will* he manage to reconcile the two?

“The Problem of Leon” is light on plot, but heavy with characterization. Leon is a pretty well-drawn character, even if the reader still doesn’t quite understand what makes him tick.

About the Author: John Shannon is best known for his series of novels featuring the character of Jack Liffey. This is my first brush with both the character and the author. This story provides a bit of Liffey prequel, set mostly during his college days.

3 thoughts on “Deal Me In, Week 17 ~ “The Problem of Leon”

  1. Pingback: Deal Me In 2015 – Week 17 Wrap-Up | Bibliophilopolis

  2. tracybham

    I am going to have to find this collection of short stories. I have two sports related collections put together by Penzler: Murder in the Rough and Murder at the Foul Line.

    1. Katherine Nabity Post author

      I had no idea there were others! I originally picked up the anthology for F.X. Toole’s story, but I enjoy sports fiction (probably more than I enjoy sports).


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